Primo Pies: 9 Superior Slices to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

At this time of year, we want to eat pie at breakfast, elvenenses, lunch, high tea, dinner, and as a midnight snack. It’s our way of getting into the holiday spirit. But we don’t want average apple or plain pumpkin – we are looking for pies that put tempting twists on tradition or surprise us in some way. Here are nine superior slices for sweet tooths.

Pumpkin Pecan Pie at Beatrix, Chicago, Illinois
Sometimes you can’t decide between a slice of pumpkin or a slice of pecan. This twofer treat solves that dilemma by doing a layer of pecan and then a layer of pumpkin on top. Smooth and crunchy, sweet and earthy, it’s a beautiful union. Make a reservation at Beatrix.

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Salted Lime Pie at The Dutch, Miami, Florida
This ain’t your usual key lime pie. Pastry chef Josh Gripper tones down the tartness by sprinkling the citrusy wedge with sea salt and pairing it with passion fruit sauce and a scoop of toasted coconut ice cream. The end result recalls an afternoon at the beach, full of tropical notes and a touch of sea air. Make a reservation at The Dutch.

pies

Sweet Potato, Pineapple, and Toasted Honey Marshmallow Pie at Willa Jean, New Orleans, Louisiana
Here’s a twist on a Southern classic. Pineapple and toasted honey marshmallow sass up the standard sweet potato. The additions deepen the flavor while adding a level of nuance that’s not usually present in what is typically a one-note dessert. Make a reservation at Willa Jean.

pies

Hull Pie at SpringHouse, Alexander City, Alabama
You’ve never had pie quite like this. Chef Rob McDaniel packs his pie with intensely sweet muscadine grapes, which taste similar to Concords, and the slightly less sweet, but no less flavorful, scuppernongs. A mixture of the two is folded inside a buttery crust and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Make a reservation at SpringHouse.

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Brown Butter Lemon Pie at Andiron Steak & Sea, Las Vegas, Nevada
We will never get tired of lemon pie, ever. This winning rendition is graced with peaks of key lime meringue and slivers of candied lime for an extra citrus punch. Goes down best with a cup of coffee – black, no sugar. Make a reservation at Andiron Steak & Sea.

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Yamming It Up: 11 Stellar Sweet Potato Dishes

With autumn in full swing and Thanksgiving fast approaching, sweet potatoes are in peak season. Chefs love the tawny-tinted tubers because they work well in both savory and sweet preparations. Here are 11 stellar sweet potato dishes showcasing the highly versatile root vegetable.

Sweet Potato Cake at Bub City, Chicago, Illinois
Think of this as autumn’s answer to carrot cake. Forged out of roasted sweet potatoes accented with cinnamon and vanilla, the triple layer treat is held together with bourbon brown sugar cream cheese frosting. Wavy sweet potato chips top it off to add color and crunch. Make a reservation at Bub City.

Sweet Potato Dishes

Sweet Potato Casserole at Wildfire, Chicago, Illinois
The team is offering this Southern staple exclusively on their Thanksgiving menu. A casserole of mashed sweet potatoes topped with baby marshmallows is baked in the oven till the top turns gooey and golden. Though it’s a side dish for the dinner, it tastes decidedly like dessert. Make a reservation at Wildfire.

sweet potato dishes

Sweet Potato Beignets at SoBou, New Orleans, Lousiana
Made with sweet potatoes, which add tones of earthy caramel, these beignets are the B-O-M-B. Chef Juan Carlos Gonzalez serves the tender treats with foie gras fondue and a ganache made with duck debris and chicory coffee. Don’t feel bad if you don’t share; we wouldn’t either. Make a reservation at SoBou.

Sweet Potato Dishes

Sweet Potato and Chicken Risotto at BRIO Tuscan Grille, McLean, Virginia
Balancing richness and levity, the creamy risotto stars shreds of roasted chicken and sweet potato squares. Bits of pancetta and pine nuts add savoriness, while asparagus tips bring a springy sweetness to the thyme-seasoned entree. Just the thing you need to warm you up and power you through these I-can’t-believe-it’s-dark-at-five-o-clock days. Make a reservation at BRIO Tuscan Grille.

Sweet Potato Dishes

Chocolate Dome Miami at Pisco y Nazca, Miami, Florida
The smooth chocolate dome melts away as hot white chocolate ganache is poured over it. This reveals sweet potato custard, chocolate ganache, and caramel popcorn. Scooping up a spoonful creates a bite evoking pumpkin pie mixed with Cracker Jacks and molten lava cake. Make a reservation at Pisco y Nazca.

Sweet Potato Dishes

Sweet Potato Casserole at Fixe, Austin, Texas
Inspired by his mother’s sweet potato casserole, executive chef James Robert adds a few bonus bits. By which we mean whipped molasses and pork cracklins. With a dark sweetness balanced out by the right amount of salt, it works well as a side dish for mains like pork roast and smoked veal brisket. Make a reservation at Fixe.

Sweet Potato Dishes

Sweet Potato Cake at Firefly, Washington, D.C.
Executive chef Jammir Gray is not a big fan of pumpkins. So she devised this sweet potato cake as an alternative. Served warm, it comes with a snowdrift of warm marshmallow and crunchy bits of nutmeg sponge candy. Somewhat ironically, servers will tell you it evokes the flavors of Starbucks’ PSL – and they’re not wrong. Make a reservation at Firefly.

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What the Turducken: 5 Takes on Thanksgiving’s Tasty Triple Threat

Take down three birds with one fork. Traditionally, turducken is a stuffing filled chicken pushed inside a duck, which is then shoved inside a turkey. This Frankenstein of fowl was created at Hebert’s Specialty Meats in Maurice, Louisiana, back in 1985. However, chef Paul Prudhomme made it famous with an assist from sports commentator John Madden, who featured the dish during his Thanksgiving Day game broadcasts. This season, chefs are showcasing their takes on the tasty triple threat.

Le Pigeon, Portland, Oregon
Not content to simply rehash the classic, chef Gabriel Rucker created the Quailducken. His elegant re-imagination subs in quail for the traditional turkey. It arrives on an artfully composed plate filled out with spice-poached quince, crispy Brussels sprouts, sunbursts of sweet potato puree, duck bacon, and a luxuriant bone marrow and port sauce. Make a reservation at Le Pigeon.

Turducken

Holsteins Shakes and Buns, Las Vegas, Nevada
Turducken — now in burger form. An herbed turkey patty gets topped with duck confit dressing and a ladleful of roast chicken gravy. To add further depth, there’s a poppy, perky cranberry relish, and straight-outta-NOLA Creole-herb mayonnaise. It comes with a side of sweet potato fries for good measure. Make a reservation at Holstein Shakes and Buns.

Turducken

Alvin & Friends, New Rochelle, New York
Executive chef Raymond Jackson believes each bird in his Turducken deserves a special stuffing. The turkey receives a smoked oyster and cornbread version accented with sage, thyme, and parsley. The chicken gets one starring andouille sausage. And the duck is paired with a grilled apple and walnut stuffing. Because if you’re already eating a turducken, it’s not like a few extra calories are going to matter. Make a reservation at Alvin & Friends.

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Good Gourd: 12 Pumpkin Desserts to Celebrate the Season

Once a humble, orange gourd best known for adorning dining room tables and decorating doorsteps, pumpkin has become a divisive element of the fall culinary landscape. Each year, pumpkin in all forms appears in coffee shops, grocery stores, and restaurants across the country, to the delight of some and exhaustion of others. We’re taking a stance, though, however controversial: we love pumpkin. Whether it be the ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte, a creamy, comforting bowl of soup, or a hot-from-the-oven bread, we’re all in. However, pumpkin desserts reign supreme in our diets. From tiramisu to fritters to the most distinctly autumn ice cream sandwich, check out how chefs from around the country do justice to our favorite fall flavors.

Ginger Snap Cookie and Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwich, CBD Provisions, Dallas, Texas
This modern-yet-inviting brasserie in the heart of downtown Dallas is open all day, but make sure to stop in for lunch or dinner for a taste of fall on a plate. Executive pastry chef Keith Cedotal combined two of the season’s best, most quintessential flavors in his Gingersnap Cookie Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwich with housemade cookies and a coating of pumpkin seeds for a little added texture. If we could dole these out to trick-or-treaters on Halloween, we’d officially be the most popular house on the block. Make a reservation at CBD Provisions.

Pumpkin Desserts

Pumpkin Spice Gelato, Alla Spina, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Among the many reasons to love chef Marc Vetri’s Italian gastropub is the extensive beer selection (including the Victory Verde, a saison made exclusively for the Vetri family restaurants,) the comforting yet impressive, pork-centric menu, and, not least, the soft serve gelato. Flavors change seasonally, but this fall enjoy a Pumpkin Spice swirl in a cup, on a cone, or, for a little pick me up, an affogato with a shot of espresso. Make a reservation at Alla Spina.

Pumpkin Desserts

Pumpkin Basque Cake, The Bristol, Chicago, Illinois
Renowned chef Grant Achatz has called the Basque cake at this beloved American restaurant in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood one of his favorite desserts in the city. A staple on the menu, pastry chef Amanda Rockman has given the cake an autumn spin, adding pumpkin marmalade — made from scratch by cooking a mixture of small diced pumpkin tossed in maple sugar and lemon zest — and a garnish of candied sage, spiced pumpkin seeds, and maple chantilly to the classic Spanish dessert. “If you can find them, the best pumpkin for marmalade that I have found is called a Long Island Cheese Squash,” asserts Chef Rockman. “Odd name, but great pumpkin.” Make a reservation at The Bristol.

Pumpkin desserts

Tiramisu’ Alla Zucca, Lago, Las Vegas, Nevada
At this stylish spot in the Bellagio, get a front row seat to the resort’s famous fountain show while enjoying plates like crudo, small pizzas, and focaccia. And for those celebrating Thanksgiving in town, don’t miss the seasonal spin on the traditional Italian dessert. Tiramusu’ Alla Zucca layers pumpkin mascarpone mousse onto espresso-soaked lady fingers in an indulgent, impressive — and appropriately Vegas — presentation. Make a reservation at Lago.

Pumpkin Desserts

Pumpkin Cake in a Box, BOA Steakhouse, Santa Monica, California
The classic steakhouse gets an L.A. twist at this perpetually buzzing Santa Monica hot spot. After treating yourself to a juicy steak — the 40-day, dry-aged New York Strip or bone-in Kansas City filet mignon are among the many menu heavy-hitters — the Cake in a Box is an apt ending. With moist, spiced pumpkin cake, vanilla cream cheese icing, anisette cream, and candied pecans, the “box” aspect of this dessert means taking it to go is just as easy as diving in on site. Make a reservation at BOA Steakhouse.

Pumpkin Desserts

Baked Pumpkin Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts, Taste on Melrose, West Hollywood, California
Paired with a hot coffee at brunch or saved for dessert at lunch or dinnertime, the Baked Pumpkin Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut — made with a soft pumpkin brioche, drenched in butter, and covered in cinnamon and sugar — makes for a perfectly autumn indulgence at this warm little neighborhood spot. Or, opt for the spicy Pumpkin Crumb Cake, topped with an almond nutmeg crumb layer. With ample outdoor seating for L.A.’s 364 days of sunshine, enjoy either one of executive pastry chef Katie Shyne’s house-baked creations and win fall. Make a reservation at Taste on Melrose.

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